Ringmasters Task List

Note: If you are a Webring System’s Manager, you might post your version of this list on your System’s home page, for the benefit of your Webring System’s member Ringmasters.

PS: This is, by no means, a complete list. It is intended to be a starting place only. Please feel free to make suggestions and/or additions to it once you’ve added it to your webring system’s website.

Starting Your Webring:

Decide on a Topic for your webring.

Decide on a Title for your webring.

Make or obtain a Logo for your webring.

Make a Home and/or Join page for your webring.

Create the Navpanel/s you wish to use for your webring.

Go to the home page of the System that will be hosting your webring, and install it by clicking the ‘Add/Create new ring’ link found on that page. Once installed, then go to the ‘Ring Admin/Hub’ page, login, and then customize your Webring’s Admin pages as follows by clicking the various ‘Customization’ button/s!

Edit the HTML default code Navpanel to your requirements (for the various possibilities: Example Navpanels), set up the join and edit forms on your home/join pages and/or the pages for that purpose hosted by the webring system being used. Then be the first to join your webring, so as to test everything out.

Edit if necessary, the e-mail messages that are to be sent out to new applicants by the webring system that is hosting your webring.

Using your e-mail software, create the message templates that you will be sending out to these various applicants once they have joined (examples of which can be found here: Ringmaster’s Mail Templates).

Post your webring’s website to at least 2 search engines. (Google, Open Directory Project, and ….)

Announce your webring in the various announcement Lists. You may have to join the List to post to it. (Want to get your new Ringlink System or Web Ring announced in the alt.webrings.announce newsgroup? Just send an e-mail to Debby T at confused@cableone.net with *webrings announce* in the subject line (Please be sure to include your system/ring home page address and your contact information in the message body so that replies or inquirers can be sent to you.)

Post your webring to at least 2 directories, if the webring system doesn’t do so for you (examples being: Ringlink Webring Directory, and World of Webrings Directory

Do a search on the topic or theme of your webring. Visit the listed websites. If they are a good fit, send them an invitation.

Search for other webrings on your topic at the other various webring systems such as WebRing, SiteRing, RingSurf, and….. Visit some of the websites in those webrings. Send invitations to those websites that you would like to have join your more reliable webring.

Post your webring to “free-for-all” lists, forums, and newsgroups related to the topic or theme of your webring (Do not spam these Newsgroups, and ensure that you read any guidelines before posting!). This may not be too effective, but…why not. Join the Ringlink-open mailing list, and at least one other web ring related forum, not to mention of course this website’s Mailing list (The World of Webrings Forum, and…….).

Maintain Your Webring at least once a week. Visit the Queue, and check all inactive websites regularly. Add those with the HTML code for the Navpanel on the correct page, and delete the duds. Send an appropriate e-mail to the ones that can’t be added yet (examples of which can be found here Ringmaster’s Mail Templates). Check applicants that have been in the Queue for your allotted time. Delete those that have exceeded your limit, and send them an appropriate e-mail.

Managing Your Webring:

Check the entire webring for correct HTML code Navpanels. You can use the “Check Sites” function found on all webring systems. Sites move. Sites close. Member websites are not always careful to change their website’s information when moving to a new website. Do not let them “break” your webring. Set those websites to “inactive” and e-mail them gentle reminders that they need to update their information or die.

Keep your home page updated and error free, and consider setting up a forum for your members and having a domain name for your webring (This allows you to move your webring to a new web host if your present web host crashes and burns without having to ask members to update any of the URL addresses.

Have Fun! 🙂

Webring SEO

The heart of any webring is the navpanel or navbar. However, a search engine when spidering a webring’s navpanel doesn’t find much of anything, if it has not been optimized for a search engine! With most navpanels a search engine just finds allot of nexts and prevs, some very long urls, and not much else. Just think, you’ve got your webring’s navpanel on many other websites, and they are doing absolutly nothing for you as far as most search engines are concerned… 🙁

The use of ALT (within the “img” element), TITLE (within the “a” and “img” elements if a link) and SUMMARY (within the “table” element) attributes is a great way to improve the search engine rank for your webring’s website, and especially the webring’s navpanel (when displayed on member websites). Doing so makes webring navigation easier, increases accessibility to disabled ring surfers, and will obtain for your webring the most relevant ranking possible with most search engines.

Seeing that most navpanels are usually a bunch of nested tables, using the ‘summary’ attribute within the “table” element is the perfect place to enter a short description of your webring (for example summary=”Examples Demoring – A webring of examples for the Ringlink program. A Perl program that provides the tools you need to run one or more webrings, i.e. systems of links between related web sites”. If using ‘next’ and ‘previous’ images within your navpanel, then using the ‘title’ attribute within the “img” element is a simple way to elaborate on what clicking ‘next’ and ‘previous’ accomplishes (for example title=”Takes you to the next site in the Examples Demoring”). If using just text within your navpanel, then you would use the ‘title’ attribute within the “a” elements to elaborate on what clicking these various text links (Next, Prev, Random, List, and…) accomplishes.

If using a image map for your webring’s navpanel, then you could use the ‘alt’ attribute within the “img” element for the description of the webring, and the ‘title’ and ‘alt’ attributes within the “area” elements to elaborate on what clicking these various areas within the image map navpanel accomplishes.

Some webring systems such as Ringlink use 301 re-direct to help you get your navpanel and webring website optimized for a search engine.